Links 7/8/2022

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Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.

And for those who are new here, this is not a mere polite request. We have written site Policies and those who comment have accepted those terms. To prevent having to resort to the nuclear option of shutting comments down entirely until more sanity prevails, as we did during the 2015 Greek bailout negotiations and shortly after the 2020 election, we are going to be ruthless about moderating and blacklisting offenders.


P.S. Also, before further stressing our already stressed moderators, read our site policies:

Please do not write us to ask why a comment has not appeared. We do not have the bandwidth to investigate and reply. Using the comments section to complain about moderation decisions/tripwires earns that commenter troll points. Please don’t do it. Those comments will also be removed if we encounter them.

* * *

Shinzo Abe shot: Former Japan PM seen holding chest as he collapsed, was in ‘cardiopulmonary arrest’ before reaching hospital Indian Express. Live blog with updates. As of 1:18 AM, Politico effectively said he’s dead. Per their European newsletter, citing NHK, “showing no vital signs.” At 1:50, press is still saying Abe is in critical condition, but it would be very Japanese to meter out bad news. As of 4:00 AM, Twitter accounts state that Abe has received blood transfusions along side a report from Kyodo, that an ER official said Abe was showing no vital signs. Perhaps they’ve managed to chill his brain so as to minimize damage but his body does not seem to be responding.

And at 4:30 AM:

And at 5:15 AM, it’s official. Abe has died.

* * *

Reader BC thinks the gun was bespoke, made to look like a camera with a long zoom so as to facilitate the shooter getting close. Later shots show the resemblance to a camera was pretty approximate but still proved to be adequate:

No kidding: long-eared goat becomes media star in Pakistan Guardian (resilc)

Bristol longboarding group ‘a blessing’ during lockdown BBC (David L)

Using a Drone to Change a Light Bulb Core77 (resilc)

Re-analysis of a fossil finds it’s from the earliest vertebrate branch ars technica (Kevin W)


James Caan, Star of ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Misery,’ Dies at 82 Wall Street Journal.



COVID State of Affairs: July 7 Your Local Epidemiologist (Dr. Kevin)

Wastewater sequencing reveals early cryptic SARS-CoV-2 variant transmission Nature (Kevin W)


Data cover-up deepens as at least 3 children die of COVID every day in the US WSWS (guurst)

MorseLife, Florida nursing home, pays $1.75 million after giving donors early access to covid vaccines Washington Post (Dr. Kevin)


India’s Deadly Heatwave Will Soon Be a Global Reality Bloomberg (ma)

Here’s What Separating and Recycling an Entire Car Looks Like Core77 (resilc)

Chart: Education in Africa: Girls Gaining Ground on Boys Statista (Dr. Kevin)

Old Blighty

Race to replace Boris Johnson slow to take shape amid resignation chaos Guardian (J-LS, Kevin W)

JANET STREET-PORTER: Tory leadership candidates will flaunt assets like Love Island contestants Daily Mail (resilc)

What Brexit Did to Boris Johnson—And Britain Atlantic (resilc)

I was Boris Johnson’s boss: he is utterly unfit to be prime minister Guardian. J-LS: “This piece by Max Hastings is three years old. I’ve yet to read anything else that tops it.”

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukrainians began to sell NATO artillery to Russia at a discount Vzglyad (original here). Important. From the start of this article:

Russian troops managed to take French Caesar howitzers as a trophy in Ukraine. Moreover, these long-range self-propelled guns were simply bought at a discount from the corrupt Ukrainian military, the Bulgarian Military newspaper writes. Although the publication does not provide any confirmations, the scheme itself looks realistic – the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine used to regularly sell weapons to “separators”, from which they were then shot at.

The Bulgarian Military publication, citing its sources in the command of the French army and in Interpol, reported: the Russian military did not seize French 155-mm self-propelled howitzers CAESAR (“Caesar”) from the armed forces of Ukraine, as it was described earlier. However, the story about the capture of French self-propelled guns by our troops as trophies was refuted not in favor of the Ukrainian army. On the contrary, according to Bulgarian Military, Ukrainians themselves sold artillery systems for 120 thousand dollars apiece. This is despite the fact that the real cost of one CAESAR howitzer is about $ 7 million.

Ukraine’s military plans to limit free movement to make conscription easier Guardian (resilc)

Vladimir Putin is ‘not going to withdraw’ Sky News (Marshall). Features former advisor to US Secretary of Defense Colonel Douglas MacGregor.

Letter from a friend, an Average Russian Vineyard of the Saker (Chuck L). A forecast of the whacking up of Ukraine.

* * *

Japan’s Kishida steps on Russian oil slick Indian Punchline (Kevin W)

Germany dims the lights to cope with Russia gas supply crunch Financial Times

EU country slams gas sharing plan as ‘communism’ RT (Kevin W)

Putin Dodges Worst of Economic Pain as Oil Eases Sanctions Bloomberg

* * *

Video Investigation: Russia Is Using a Secret Network to Steal Ukraine Grain Wall Street Journal. The media is working hard and successfully at making the public stupider. As I sputtered to some correspondents:

I can’t stand this nonsense. Ukraine does not own the grain. Its farmers do. If the farmers are being paid, it isn’t stealing. I haven’t read the piece (because annoyance) but I doubt Russia would do that, it’s trying to build good relations with the locals. And we also have this little issue of the DPR and the LPR having declared independence….

John Helmer replied:

Murdoch media have failed again. The Kiev regime (and US) persuaded the Turks to check title to the grain cargo, consignment papers, and title to the vessel (Kazakh) and contract of carriage. The Turks have released the vessel and cargo.

Reaching the Greater New York audience with common sense on Ukraine Gilbert Doctorow

EU Bureaucracy Seen Blocking 1.5 Billion-Euro Loan to Ukraine Bloomberg


Ben & Jerry’s Sues Parent Company Unilever to Block Israel Sale AntiWar (resilc)

Occupied Yemeni island could host part of US-led missile defense system Responsible Statecraft. Resilc cites: “‘It’s just so blatant,’” Jumaan said. ‘Without the U.S. this would not be possible.’

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Death of the British Imperial State Craig Murray (Anthony L)

The agony of the West Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Net (Chuck L). A good piece but incorrectly says the dollar has fallen. It’s up against all major currencies, including the renminbi. The exception is the rouble. Now one can posit it is destined to fall but we are not there yet.

Minotaur rocket explodes shortly after launching on test mission for US military Space


MAGA Group Reportedly Hosting Figures Named In Jan. 6 Probe YouTube (furzy). “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”


Getting Rid of Joe Biden-Possible Scenarios Larry Johnson (Chuck L). Some important issues regarding replacing the VP after becoming President.

Biden’s court commission appointees: We told you so on expanding the court Politico

Democrats en déshabillé

Bernie Sanders Endorses Balint in Vermont’s U.S. House Race Seven Days. Resilc: “Not the DNC pick.”

Christians strip down at a South Texas nudist community Associated Press (resilc)

GOP Clown Car

IRS in political storm over Trump-era audits The Hill. Tax maven points out: “McCabe got a slug of cash in a GoFundMe-type campaign to pay his legal bills.”

Lindsey Graham ‘Desperate’ Not to Self-Incriminate in Georgia: Kirschner Newsweek (furzy). As written this is nonsense. Grand jury testimony is sealed. The issue is whether the case advances to trial and they call Graham again. Hence this is about the precedent, whether Graham can be compelled to testify on this matter.

Lindsey Graham Doesn’t Want to Testify in Georgia Probe Charles Pierce, Esquire (furzy)

Winklevoss Twins Team Up With Peter Thiel To Support Arizona Senate Candidate Blake Masters Forbes.

NYPD makes fitness tests easier after increased retirements New York Post

‘Truly disgusting’: University of Michigan regent’s 8-hour Delta flight goes without water Detroit News. Paywalled, but ma flags: “‘At first, I was just happy a UM Regent was on board…….’ But wait–what’s this? ‘….a scheduling program glitch on July 2 that resulted in more than 12,000 flights leaving without two pilots on board.’ I thought they could not fly without two pilots??!!”

Two new fatal Tesla crashes are being examined by US investigators The Verge (Kevin W)

Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter is in peril Washington Post. Non-paywalled retelling: It’s looking more like Elon Musk could bail on buying Twitter The Verge

Hospitals and for-profit PBMs are diverting billions in 340B savings STAT (Dr. Kevin). The people involved should burn in hell. Americans die due to medical grifting.

US job creation set to slow as red-hot labour demand levels off Financial Times

Private equity may be heading for a fall Economist (Paul R)

Class Warfare

Ride-Hailing Drivers Revolt Vietnam Weekly (JTM)

Nursing home robots dance, sing and watch for signs of trouble MPR News

Antidote du jour. Tracie H:

This little lizard showed up yesterday at the cat food dishes! We were just happy he was there to consume their food and not them!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. MT_Wild

      I thought golden tegu, which is another invasive lizard in Florida :) They get just as big as some of the other monitor lizards.

      1. RobertC

        They make nice boots. I have a pair by Lucchese. I wasn’t going to buy them until they promised me it was endangered. Guess they lied.

        Do I mention I had a pair of boots custom made of Palomino hide? But that’s another story.

    2. digi_owl

      Based on the cage in the upper corner, i’m guessing maybe large house cat or small dog in size. And yeah, my first guess on seeing it was komodo dragon (the largest existing kind of monitor lizard) as that is the one i have heard about the most.

      1. ambrit

        Chuckwallas are cousins to the Iguanas, and there are now extensive areas of Florida “infested” with Iguanas. Florida does seem to be a lizard heaven, haven?
        Talking to Mom yesterday and she mentioned the 200 pound python captured recently near where she lives in South Florida. A female, full of eggs.
        What will these critters do when the sea level rises above the land level there? Move back to Passaic?

        1. griffen

          It’ll be a lizards / pythons / humans free for all to the death. Rumble in the south Florida jungles baby!

          And I’m not even talking where the sunshine state politicians classify. Ha Ha.

          1. ambrit

            The Florida politicos are definitely from where the Sunshine State don’t shine.
            Seriously now, considering all the damage American politicos are doing, we could legitimately classify them as Pathogens.

          2. wilroncanada

            wait for it…Wait for it! The next Carl Hiaasen novel. “Fun with Monitors”

        2. Samuel Conner

          Not sure there will be many humans left in S Florida by then.

          Miami-Dade county currently has an active reported COVID case prevalence of 1.3% of the population.

          If that is undercounted by the factor of 6+ that Lambert cites in his daily W/C CV-stats update, things are close to as bad as they were at the peak of the Winter Omicron surge, when the case incidence approached 10%.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Here is a bunch of tegu lizard images.;_ylt=AwrEsG8YNcliUNkGHQlDDWVH;_ylc=X1MDMTE5NzgwNDg2NwRfcgMyBGZyAwRmcjIDcDpzLHY6c2ZwLG06c2ItdG9wBGdwcmlkAzZPRmZwcjYxVHZDNmIwNi5CelBoS0EEbl9yc2x0AzAEbl9zdWdnAzQEb3JpZ2luA3NlYXJjaC55YWhvby5jb20EcG9zAzAEcHFzdHIDBHBxc3RybAMwBHFzdHJsAzE3BHF1ZXJ5A3RlZ3UlMjBsaXphcmQlMjBpbWFnZQR0X3N0bXADMTY1NzM1NzY1NQ–?p=tegu+lizard+image&fr=sfp&fr2=p%3As%2Cv%3Asfp%2Cm%3Asb-top&iscqry=

        These look more like ” this” lizard than the chuckwalla does, at least to me.

    1. artemis

      This was published on Monday, and all of this data were to be presented on Wednesday. Now it’s Friday, and I would love to know more.

      1. flora

        I would like to know more. The Rio Times (Brazil) is the only English language paper I’ve found covering the story. I tried using Google translate on the Uruguay newspaper stories, but the Goog would not translate them!?! First time that’s ever happened to me. Very odd.

        1. flora

          Just tried the Goog translate again. This time it worked.

          Now that I’m using the interface correctly (I’ll assume I missed a step earlier) there is a new story yesterday from Uruguay that begins (in translation):

          “Anticovid vaccination is suspended for children under 13 years of age in Uruguay

          “After the decision of the Justice, the MSP reiterated that “each of the decisions made regarding the vaccination of the National Plan for coronavirus were based on the available science.”

          full report here:

  1. da

    Unfortunately the assassination of Abe is NOT unprecedented. Two prime ministers were assassinated inside Tokyo station in the 1930s (one didn’t die right away). Shooting of a former prime minister may be unprecedented, but political assassinations have happened in the past.

    1. Big River Bandido

      Yes, Japan’s “dark valley” period of the 1930s was rife with political assassinations of the “treaty faction”.

      Of course, that was now 90 years ago…

      1. Wukchumni

        Barbara Tuchman’s The Proud Tower encompasses the era of assassination of European leaders in the buildup to WW1, great read!

  2. Acacia

    Was it poetic justice that Abe Shinzo — who spent years trying to grant the Jietai more power, budget, and autonomy —, got taken out by a former member of the Jietai with a DIY shotgun?

    1. SocalJimObjects

      A number of expats in a Taiwanese Expat Forum are speculating that it’s the Chinese behind the shooting.

      Amazing world we live in.

      1. Acacia

        And initial rumors that the gunman was Zainichi… like of course it could never be a nihonjin who did such a dastardly deed.

  3. petal

    When I got up this morning I opened the DM as per usual, and they had some good photos of the homemade gun. It looked like 2 metal tubes taped together with black duct tape, not particularly long. He just kind of walked up and pulled it out of his bag and did it.

    Surprised at the lower NYPD standards. Jeez. I was running a 6:40 mile at 43 years old(before my dog got sick and I had to quit running). And I’m a girl. I realise the dept is hard up for help, but if these people don’t even have the strength and endurance to do the job…? Putting them out there in this condition is putting them at risk as well as the public.

    I hope everyone has a lovely weekend. Great lizard, Tracie H!

    1. digi_owl

      As have been pointed out by certain gun enthusiasts pretty much forever, shotguns are damned easy to make at home.

      After all they do not rely on rifling so as long as you can find a length of metal pipe of the proper dimensions to fit a cartridge, and fashion some way to lock said cartridge in place against the recoil of the firing, you are good to go.

      The firing itself can be done with a nail and spring as long as it develops enough force to set of the cap.

      1. Tom Stone

        For those that are curious about craft built firearms “Improv.Guns” tracks their production and proliferation.
        India has picked up their game quite a bit, the quality and sophistication of illegally produced firearms there has improved substantially the last few years, OZ is seeing a lot of 3d printed submachine guns and Brazil,as usual, is showing the biggest diversity, everything from slamfire shotguns to excellent quality sub machine guns made in small factories.
        Darra and the Phillipines are still among the best known centers of craft built firearms as they have been for many decades and their quality has also made great strides..

        1. digi_owl

          Unless OZ has made some strides in metal based 3D printing, i suspect said submachine guns are not really 3D printed in the proper sense.

          And frankly the venerable Sten gun of WW2 should be proof enough that a simple submachinegun is not that hard to make, as it was made by partisan groups inside the occupied nations.

          1. The Rev Kev

            You should read about the Aussie Owen machine gun from WW2. It was a fraction of the price of an American Thompson machine gun, reliable and it was stamp-pressed in its construction-


            My late father saw Owen demonstrate this machine gun at a beach. Owen threw it in the water, rough it up under the water in all the stirred sand, pulled it out, rapidly clean it, put a clip in and then ran a line of bullets up a palm tree.

              1. Wukchumni

                That’s nothing, a neighbor 3D printed a Paris Gun & 238 mm rounds and promises to put Pixley in peril from his perch on high.

          2. Tom Stone

            The FGC 9 Mk 2 can be quietly printed in your apartment and the barrel can be steel tubing rifled using electro chemical machining.
            You will need to buy the springs, everything else can be made at home with little noise (The 3D printer) and no odd smells.
            They work well and the last I looked one example had fired 5 K rounds and was still going strong.
            $25K and you’ve got a small factory turning out a dozen or more a day which will wholesale at $1,200-$1,500 and cost no more than $200 each to build.

    2. Louis Fyne

      Policing is a tough job, part social worker, part constitutional lawyer, part mediator, part medic, part muscle-man.

      if you look at the 18-30 population, subtract the obese/overweight, those w/criminal records, those who can’t read-compute at 2nd year college level, those who’ll test positive for drugs, those who won’t get vaccinated, you are left with less than 50% of the population.

      Then add the anti-police climate and you have chronic under-recruitment in police agencies nationwide (military too).

      Obviously it is completely legitimate to have problems w/policing—-but few of those who do are taking it upon themselves to “be the change that you seek” while the traditional police recruiting pool is not going to urban police forces due to wokeism.

      1. Adam Eran

        U.S. population in 1981 was 229.5 million. In 2017: 325.1 million. That’s a 42% increase. During that period, funding for the police went from $40 billion to $115 billion. That’s a 187.5% increase. Could there be room to reduce police budgets? Gosh, I wonder!

      2. CitizenSissy

        Au contraire. Responding police don’t know what they may be rolling into, given the widespread availability of military-grade weapons. Police acquaintance once described responding to domestic calls during the holidays as a toxic mix of alcohol, firearms, and bad family dynamics.

        I work with many police associations professionally, and the exodus is real.

    3. Joe Renter

      You are a show off. 6:43 mile is pretty fast. I could have done that in my 20’s not after.
      It make sense it should reconsidered. Other levels of fitness, of course are important.

    4. wilroncanada

      I’ll have you know they paid a certain President of a certain Eastern European country millions for a copy of those standards. The next step will be ordering possible candidates to “not leave hometowns” so they can be conscripted in the coming police draft.

  4. JohnA

    A word of warning on the Johnson has gone stories. He has not yet actually resigned – he needs to go ask the queen in person to do that. He had said he will resign but will stay on till the autumn until a successor has emerged. In the meantime he intends to make full use of the PM’s country retreat Chequers, for a lavish wedding party. And yes, Chequers is pronounced the same as Nixon’s dog.

    His erstwhile spin doctor, Cummings, has a theory that Johnson has no intention of actually leaving, he wants the contendors to tear each other apart and give the appearance of being worse than he is, so he can then step back in as the country’s saviour again. Incidentally, his ‘resignation’ speech yesterday focused far more on Ukraine than Britain, and he cites Ukraine as one of his successes, along with Brexit (still not done due to Northern Ireland lies). It sure looks like a big plait of garlic, crucifix, and a wooden stake will be required to oust him.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I heard that if Boris does not actually step down and call the removalists in, that they will go for a motion of confidence in Parliament next week to finally flush, err, dump him. Only hearing this second hand but apparently a lot of people were unhappy how on the verge of being dumped, that he was trying to shuffle the Cabinet in his favour so not sure how true that is.

      1. TiPs

        Re the 3-year old Hastings article on BJ, I spit my coffee out reading this line:

        “I recently suggested to a radio audience that he supposes himself to be Winston Churchill, while in reality being closer to Alan Partridge.”

        1. CanCyn

          JohnA may be right…A Brit friend just compared BoJo to Churchill in that Churchill hung on much past his due date by stirring up all the infighting and being the last man standing. Precedent!

    2. wilroncanada

      “Psst, Cummings,” I whispered. “I have this plan for you, guaranteed to succeed. If at first you don’t succeed, keep on succing ’til you do succeed.”

  5. Polar Socialist

    About the Ukrainian grain – from Russian newspaper Vedomosti a month ago:

    “Kherson Region, which is under the control of the Russian military, has started exporting to Russia the grain of the previous harvest, TASS reported, citing the deputy head of the region’s military and civil administration, Kyrylo Stramousov*.

    Kherson Region is now preparing for the harvesting of winter grain, which will begin on June 20. “There is storage [for the new harvest], although, of course, a lot of grain is already there. Now people are partly exporting, they have made arrangements with those who buy from the Russian Federation**,” Stremousov said. He clarified that he is talking about selling grain to Russia for export. According to him, the issue of supplying seeds for oil production to local and Russian plants is being resolved.”

    * born in Donetsk, studied in Lviv, worked for government in Kiev, finally moved to Kharkov and went to media and politics; opposed Orange revolution, supported Yanukovich.
    ** grain exports from Russia are mostly in the hands of international companies like Viterra and Luis Dreyfus (who are not planning to cease their operations in Russia)

    1. The Rev Kev

      The other day the Ukrainians asked the Turks to detain one ship that the Ukrainians accused of shipping their wheat which was in the news. Then about two days after, they came up with a list of three or four more ships that they wanted the Turks to also detain. The Turks aren’t stupid and saw which way this was going to go so they released that ship which caused the Ukrainians to go ballistic with the Turks.

    2. Polar Socialist

      More about that “Ukrainian” harvest. Vzglyad just reported that Russia is helping the harvest in the ‘liberated’ parts of Zaporozhye Oblast. The harvest will be bigger than usual, if some serious problems with equipment can be solved. Usually the farmers hire companies with the harvesting equipment to do it, but all the companies are in the north Ukraine – or at least their equipment is (because the harvest season ends in north, duh!).

      For now, Russians have been lending and leasing machinery from Rostov and Crimea, and also spare parts for old Soviet era harvesters that have been restored. Russian Army is also providing fuel for the farmers.

      Temporary administration is trying to work everything out, but since southern Zaporozhye is at the moment neither part of Ukraine or Russia there are serious legal issues to overcome regarding any productive activity. Main thing seems to be getting the harvest going (20-30% already done), grains stored and figure the rest out later.

      1. RobertC

        Putting this into perspective, Russia is conducting an SMO in a country twice the size of the UK while bringing in the grains harvest to feed the world.

  6. The Rev Kev

    ‘Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield, well, what can I say, let them try. We haven’t really started anything yet.’

    I don’t know about where you guys live but here in Oz on the TV news, they kinda chopped the first part of his paragraph off and just reported that he said ‘We haven’t really started anything yet’ – as in we are definitely going after the Baltic States and Poland next.

    1. Polar Socialist

      First part of a paragraph? They chopped multiple paragraphs leading to that sentence… (A DeepL machine translation from [Sorry about the wall of text]):

      We are told, we hear today, that we started the war in Donbas, in Ukraine. No, it was unleashed by this very collective West by organising and supporting an unconstitutional armed coup in Ukraine in 2014 and then encouraging and justifying genocide against people in Donbas. This same collective West is the direct instigator, the perpetrator of what is happening today.

      If this same West wanted to provoke a conflict in order to move on to a new stage of fighting with Russia, to a new stage of containing our country, then we can say that it has succeeded to a certain extent. And the war has been unleashed and sanctions have been imposed. In normal circumstances it would probably have been difficult to do so.

      But what I would like to point out? They would have to understand that they have already lost from the beginning of our special military operation, because its beginning means also the beginning of a fundamental breakdown of the world order in the American way. This is the beginning of the transition from the liberal-globalist American egocentrism to a truly multipolar world – a world based not on selfish rules invented by somebody for himself, behind which there is nothing but striving for hegemony, not on hypocritical double standards, but on international law, on the true sovereignty of peoples and civilizations, on their will to live their historical destiny, their values and traditions and to build a cooperation based on democracy, justice and equal rights. And it must be understood that this process can no longer be stopped.

      The course of history is inexorable, and the attempts of the collective West to impose its new world order on the world are doomed to failure.

      At the same time, I want to say and emphasise: we have many supporters, including in the United States itself, and in Europe, and even more so in other continents and other countries, and there will be more and more of them, there is no doubt about it.

      Again, even in countries that are still satellites of the USA there is a growing understanding that blind obedience of their ruling elites to the suzerain does not correspond, as a rule, to their national interests, and often contradicts them radically. With the rise of these sentiments in society, eventually everyone will have to reckon with them.

      Today, they, these ruling elites, are increasing the degree of manipulation of public consciousness. The ruling classes in the West, supranational and globalist in character, realising that their policies are becoming more and more detached from reality, from common sense and from the truth, have begun to use openly oppressive methods.

      The West, which once declared such principles of democracy as freedom of speech, pluralism, respect for different opinions, is now degenerating into the exact opposite – totalitarianism. It includes censorship, closure of the media, and arbitrary treatment of journalists and public figures.

      This practice of prohibition extends not only to the information space, but also to politics, culture, education, art – to all spheres of public life in Western countries. Moreover, this model – the model of totalitarian liberalism, including the notorious culture of abolition, of ubiquitous bans – they are imposing on the whole world, trying to impose.

      But the truth and reality is that the peoples of most countries do not want such a life and such a future, and really do not want formal, decorative, but substantive, real sovereignty and are simply tired of kneeling, of humiliating themselves before those who consider themselves exceptional, and even to their detriment, serving their interests.

      Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield. What can I say? Let them try. We have already heard a lot that the West wants to fight with us “to the last Ukrainian”. It is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, but that seems to be where it is going. But everyone should know that we, by and large, have not started anything in earnest yet.

      At the same time, we are not refusing to negotiate peace, but those who are refusing should know that the further we go, the harder it will be for them to negotiate with us.

      It’s almost as if from the POV of the western narrative, that was the only part fit for publication.

      1. fresno dan

        Polar Socialist
        thanks for that
        I had to look up “Suzerain”. All in all, I have to say that Putin is much more in reality than any of the western leaders – and the more west you go, the more deranged they (i.e., he) gets… Unfortunately, it seems to me that the “west” is becoming ever more how Putin describes it: Today, they, these ruling elites, are increasing the degree of manipulation of public consciousness. The ruling classes in the West, supranational and globalist in character, realising that their policies are becoming more and more detached from reality, from common sense and from the truth, have begun to use openly oppressive methods.

    2. Lex

      Yeah, the clear meaning of the original was “go ahead and try to defeat us in Ukraine, we’re barely using the full measure of our potential force.” But the smirk said he knew exactly how it would be taken. Peskov has clarified the statement today … not that it will matter.

      Between the lines it appears that Russia is confident enough to provoke the west (assuming I’m correct of Putin who’s usually very careful with his words). I don’t know that I agree, but the designed quagmire does look like it’s been reversed.

      1. super extra

        I’ve become something of a fan of Putin’s deadpan-to-slightly-animated ripostes. I’m not sure anything will ever really top ‘Very well, we’ll show them what de-communization means’ considering what happened right after that and how it has played out, but this is pretty close. The detail from the leaked call with Macron where he blew off a demand to talk to Biden and Macron together because he was getting ready to play hockey was great too.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Lavrov did Putin one better in the deadpan category an interview with the BBC. Note that some BBC journos were banned from going to/being in Russia (along with Luke Harding of the Guardian and Gideon Rachman of the FT), See at 21:50.

          However…I listened to the bit at 21:50 a couple of times when the interview was fresh for Lavrov’s impressively impassive face v. his provocative remark.

          The closed caption no longer works in that bit in Firefox or Safari for me. Is this a new level of censorship or just a local issue?

          The BBC reporter Rosenberg was appallingly smug but one can imagine that Brits saw that positively. Helmer, who has a long-standing, albeit difficult, personal relationship with Lavrov, said via e-mail:

          His ministry has expelled Rosenberg’s number-2 Sarah Rainsford last August, and another 6 BBC reporter-editors last week. Rosenberg who is the worst serial liar of the lot remains, not only in his place, but he’s given “exclusive” interviews at the SVR, air time to ask questions at Putin’s annual presser; and now this favour from Lavrov.

          Maybe the Foreign Ministry has resigned itself to BBC coverage, figuring it can only minimize the attack surface by having fewer of the bad lot around, and kicking Rosenberg out would give the BBC an excuse for getting more screechy, if such a thing were possible.

          1. JohnA

            Lavrov has the patience of 10 saints if not 100. Rosenberg seeks out every anti-Russia cliche he can in his reporting and then amplifies it. He asks questions, ignores the answer and then repeats the question in a slightly different guise. The remarkable thing is that, if he has lived in Russia for 30 years as he claims, and clearly is fluent, he either feigns ignorance of the big picture, or is a total lapdog of the British establishment. Heaven forbid that he is simply as thick as mince, as former Brexit negotiator David Davis was famously labelled by D Cummings. But you do have to wonder sometimes.

          2. albrt

            Perhaps the Russians want the coverage to be so bad their people will have little trouble seeing through it.

    3. RobertC

      Concurrently Russian Ambassador Andrei Kelin Russian forces unlikely to leave southern Ukraine, ambassador says

      LONDON, July 8 (Reuters) – Russia is unlikely to withdraw from a swathe of land across Ukraine’s southern coast and will defeat Ukrainian forces in the whole of the eastern Donbas region, Russia’s ambassador to London told Reuters.

      …”Of course it is difficult to predict the withdrawal of our forces from the southern part of Ukraine because we have already experience that after withdrawal, provocations start and all the people are being shot and all that.”

      …Sooner or later, Kelin said, Ukraine would have to decide: strike a peace deal with Russia or “continue slipping down this hill” to ruin.

      …”If sanctions will continue to be imposed on Russia, we will make a big turn to China and the East.”

  7. Solarjay

    Flying single pilot.
    While most modern jets can physically be “flown” with a single pilot, you cannot operate them that way. Not all controls are available from both seats like steering or switches and circuit breakers.
    Some very small commuter planes are single pilot, and many smaller cargo planes.
    It would be breaking sooo many rules: FAA, airlines, aircraft manufacturers. The fines if in the US would be staggering.
    And not to mention the pilot flying would get in so much trouble too, because it’s on the captain to confirm
    the aircraft is ok to fly. They would lose their license instantly. This includes weather, mechanical, people, fuel etc. No qualified first officer, no flying.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Why stop at single-pilot? The big plane makers and airlines are drooling at the prospect of ‘autonomous airplanes.” Gonna save $38 billion, get rid of those pesky demanding humans, let fully rational wise silicon do Sully’s job.

      Pilots in the modern jets are data input engines a lot of the time, the systems fly the airplane, but when those out-of-tolerance conditions arise, will the programming be smart enough to keep from driving 300 people into a smoking crater. Along with whatever was on the ground zero of the crater.

      Do Russian jets fly with no pilots?

      1. Lee

        As a passenger, having a fellow mortal at the controls is a reassurance I find indispensable.

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          Suicide by pilot has been increasing, so you may wish to rethink your position on pilotless aircraft.

          1. Solarjay

            There are a number of YouTube channels that cover airplanes and there are many issues that come up that technology isn’t ready to be able to do by automation or via remote control. Think stupid Tesla auto drive and how many accidents they have and are saved by drivers. And remember that’s 2 dimensions, just pull over and stop. Planes not so much.
            Engine failures
            Landing gear not working
            Flaps/slats not working
            Electrical failures
            Computer failures
            Communication failures
            And the list goes on.

            What has saved many planes and passengers are well trained pilots. I have read many ( manly ) libertarians who say we need more pilots so just reduce the number or requirements. Fricken idiots.

            Keep those well trained people up there in the cockpit!

            1. rowlf

              There are computer programs that have been developed in the last decade to monitor systems on aircraft to identify problems before the flight crew have to deal with them, adding another layer of safety and reliability to operating airliners. Remember how space flights where monitored? It is now possible to monitor a fleet of aircraft and have performance outliers identified for review and maintenance action.

        2. Tom Bradford

          Although, of course, two Boing 737 maxs flew themselves into the ground despite having two pilots aboard.

          1. Solarjay

            That was because of no training about the new system and the new system was too powerful for even 2 humans to over come.

            Had they been correctly trained it would not have happened

      2. Polar Socialist

        Most Soviet/Russian build airliners have 3 men crews: two pilots and an engineer. They do like to have two persons who know how to fly and one person who knows the plane and it’s systems in the cockpit.

        With the latest iterations the engineer has been removed to keep the planes competitive in the modern world.

    2. Shrewd Wookiee

      The Detroit News reporter appears to have misunderstood the AA pilot situation:

      As I read it, AA’s pilot scheduling exchange allowed pilots to opt out or trade assignments even if it left aircraft without two pilots scheduled. But no flights flew without the statutory minimum number of pilots, as far as I can tell. Instead pilots who had opted out but were brought in to fly anyway will get triple pay.

    3. Oh

      The crooked CEO’s of the airlines have been pampered so much with more and more financial gravy by the govt. that they won’t care about safety of their passengers. I really wish we had an alternative to flying such as hi speed trains.

      1. nippersdad

        He has always been bad on foreign policy, but this collaboration with Nazis is on just a whole ‘nother level. If he wants to have any credibility going forward, he needs to ditch Matt Duss pronto.

      2. nippersmom

        Both nippersdad and I were supporters and regular donators during both of Bernie’s presidential runs. As nippersdad says, we both always knew he was bad on foreign policy, but previously thought his positives on the domestic front outweighed that, especially since domestic policy was obviously going to be his focus. That has changed. The last time his “people” contacted me for a donation to one of his causes, I flat out told them Bernie had lost me with his support for Ukrainian Nazis.

        I’m not sure there is any way for him to come back from this, at least not for me.

          1. pjay

            Ditto for me. My Bernie coffee mugs are still on my shelf as a reality check if I ever again dare to hope for anything meaningful out of the electoral process. That’s not likely to happen, however.

            Bernie lost me in 2016. Not only did he refuse to consider “the damn e-mails,” but he proceeded to go all-in on Russiagate, with various shots at Maduro, Assad, and all our other Evil Dictator enemies. I probably would have reluctantly voted for him in 2020, but that campaign was weaker, he was sabotaged, and then he fell in line like the good partisan soldier after being screwed.

            Foreign policy is the test for me today. Politicians can *say* whatever they want about domestic policy; the process is too broken to get anything done anymore, so it doesn’t matter. But if they want to survive, they can’t even speak critically about foreign affairs. Elite consensus is total, with only tiny variations allowed between “neoliberals” and “neocons.” Remember when prominent politicians like William Fulbright and Frank Church could oppose our folly in Viet Nam? Not possible anymore.

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          For an imperial state such as the US foreign policy is actually more important than domestic policy. That Sanders is deemed weak on foreign policy ought to automatically disqualify him for higher office.

      3. Aumua

        Just because someone is less than perfect doesn’t mean they are a fraud. Whatever that is supposed to mean exactly, it’s a pretty strong accusation and also a very easy thing to type.

  8. The Rev Kev

    ‘Reader BC thinks the gun was bespoke, made to look like a camera with a long zoom so as to facilitate the shooter getting close. Later shots show the resemblance to a camera was pretty approximate but still proved to be adequate’

    If you go to the following page, you can see a close-up, cropped image of the gun that was used. How do you say ‘Saturday night special’ in Japanese-

    1. Alex Morfesis

      Amazing craftsmanship and marksmanship from such a distance…buckshot ?? Birdshot ??…and no one else around Abe even a flesh wound…amazing…guess when your time is up.. so do you think the mets resign degree or…

    2. Louis Fyne

      Abe might still be alive if his security detail literally was useless after the first shot as there was a good 3 second between first failed shot and 2nd shot.

      Everyone (security detail, police) did not assume first shot = assassination attempt—they (including Abe) stood there dumb-struck, like it was a car backfire or car accident

      actual footage (graphic)

      1. Acacia

        Indeed. The “security detail” was apparently a single guy with no protective clothing and no firearm.

        Needless to say, questions are being asked.

        1. Angie Neer

          One of those questions might be “must we become America”? The unfortunate Japanese have not yet matched the cultural progress of USA!USA! where we assume everyone is packing heat, every loud noise is a gunshot, and the response to every slightly suspicious activity is overwhelming force wielded against the wrong person.

    1. marcel

      The site manager stated they are having a DDOS attack, and they disabled https, as there is nothing particular to protect. should work (and does work for me).

            1. harrybothered

              A later post has them asking for help:


              >I have two urgent requests:

              1) If you are an IT security specialist (or can contact one you know) and you think that you (or he/she), or your company, can help, please contact at the following email as soon as possible:

              Please do NOT email me personally as I am on sick leave and this is way above my IT skills.

              2) please circulate this appeal of mine on social media, maybe that will help us get to the right people who can help us.

              Finally, we will keep you updated on the old blog’s site here:

              Thank you in advance for any help!

              Kind regards


      1. John Zelnicker

        marcel – Your Saker link is missing the “a”.

        I tried with the correct spelling and can’t access it either way.

        I’ve also tried with Opera’s VPN using all the options for server locations and none of them seem to make any difference.

        I get an error message through some VPN servers that the site refused to connect which I would expect with a DDoS attack. But with the European server the error message is that the DNS address cannot be found. That leads me to believe that there’s more going on than just an attack and that someone is blocking access.

    2. Dan

      I’m just amazed it took this long for the site to be attacked, given its enthusiastic pro-Russian bias. I often disagree with Saker, but his perspective is very helpful to understand.

  9. Solarjay

    I was talking with a buddy before it became obvious that Harris is completely incompetent for the job, that the best next step would be for Biden to resign about 1-1.5 years before the end of his term.
    Then harris gets to run for president as the incumbent. She gets the full use of the office, Air Force 1 etc. makes a ton of sense. Except that she’s hopeless and is not up to the current job let alone president.
    If the VP is some republican then just send them to Antarctica on a fact finding mission. Obviously the VP doesn’t do much.

    The brain trust that put Biden in office really didn’t know what they were getting with harris. Either she really did some amazing interviews or it was for appearances and they figured she is smart and would improve.

    I expect the Dems to lose 1 if not both houses this fall, so not much will get done. But still more than 2 years so a lot can change. My guess, Biden doesn’t run or does quit ahead of time to give harris an advantage. Regardless Harris is defeated in the primary.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      IMHO Harris was an unforced big time error. Biden didn’t owe her. But remember how he decided he had to have a black woman? It really seemed like he came to that decision without looking at the implications.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Something I was wondering when Harris clinched the position of VP. Could she actually be a “poison pill” on the part of certain parties? What I mean is that there were any plans to try to dump old Joe in his first term as President, that a major stumbling block would be that Harris would then actually become President which nobody would be willing to tolerate.

          1. flora

            Her head bob… She’s listening to her ear piece for her handler’s instructions. “Do what now?” /joke!

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          There just aren’t many black women in places where jumping to the VP nomination makes sense (not that there are many of those people anyway; especially without making an effort in the primaries to show potential support) and simply less with politics that align with Biden.

            1. digi_owl

              Or Joe was pressured by the wokes surrounding Hillary to pick Kamala, much like FDR was pressured to go with Truman on his last term instead of Wallace.

              It really seems like after Occupy there is a fervent lot in the Dems that has a myopic focus on getting a girlboss in the white house, even if it will sink the party, never mind nation, in the process.

            2. ChrisRUEcon

              > Joe thought Kamala was woke …

              Nope. Joe never wanted Kamala … :)

              I believe he wanted the “other K” – Klobuchar.

              Amy K had a Freudian slip on the trail, remember? (via Fox News)

              The ONLY reason we had Kamala foisted upon us was because of Jim Clyburn. After Clyburn worked the phones, streets and churches of South Carolina to spark some life into Biden’s flaccid campaign, he made it clear that he (as a proxy for the AA community) was owed an AA Veep. It was known that the election was going to be close (and turned out to be), and Clyburn made sure to let Joe know that the AA community might feel slighted and not vote for him if he did not choose wisely. And so … here we are.

          1. Louis Fyne

            Have no idea if she has shown any political interest….Melody Hobson, CEO of an investment company, wife of George Lucas.

            Caretaker VP for 4 years, go back to the private sector in 2024. Your hands are clean because as VP you have no hand on policy, and you made history.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              With Biden’s age, an unelected VP and no standing in politics would simply be setting her up to be a failure. If she was part of the campaign and leading voice, that would be one thing, but putting randos a heartbeat away from the Presidency is a recipe for disaster.

              1. Anthony G Stegman

                Joe’s handlers all along have known that Joe’s mental capacity is greatly diminished. Selecting Harris as VP was done so as to make Joe look brighter than he really is. Everything is relative.

        2. jsn

          I’m with you on the “poison pill.”

          With the vinegar the Biden wine has turned to, it’s become a poison Pickle for the D Party.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        I think Biden expected to simply not be held accountable. He lied about his record through the primaries. The key difference is he lied directly not about some event in the past, many of his voters didn’t know anything happened before 2016. Joe brought in Granholm for an interview late.

        1. Pat

          Cripes, I may have just mixed up Granholm and Whitmer. Not sure anymore. I do remember the rumors that Joe was seriously annoyed when his people told him he had to name a black woman. (That I am clear on, because I thought it was just going to be the first time his mouth would get him in trouble in an age where there is denying the video.)

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The issue was Biden lied directly. For people who only learned about Biden as Obama’s running mate, he didn’t really exist. Hes just a name most primary voter people kind of remember. Biden lied about his record, it’s not lying to them, but this lie would be direct. Not only that, it would risk being a clarifying event. Biden really was a liar all along.

            This is one problem Biden has now. He promised to deliver BBB, and he simply lied. He hasn’t worked for it. He even convinced everyone to pimp the Romney highway bill. Now, he’s supposedly throwing tantrums about not being supported. He’s gotten away with a lot, but now, he wasn’t part of a bloc, who can claim he was doing the best. He’s simply a liar.

            I think you are right on Whitmer, but memory is he had multiple interviewees.

            1. Pat

              Biden was a very good bag man in the senate, another record that should have dinged him for higher office. But yes lying was SOP for him.
              And the media worked hard in 2020 to bury anyone point out his long record of that and other disqualifying items.

      3. Pat

        My memory was he started adding black to his promise to name a woman as VP in his speeches depending on the presumed audience and then discovered that the world had changed and everyone had seen him promise it. So he was being held to it when he really wanted and had planned on naming Whitmer. And they had already shoved Abrams under the bus so who was left.

      4. drumlin woodchuckles

        I had always thought that the reason Harris was made VP was both to reward her for immunizing and impunifying Steve Mnuchin for his financial crimes when she was AG of California, and to have her in line for President so that she would immunize and impunify the FIRE Sector perpetrators collectively as a sector when they triggered off the next super crisis. And also keep them as rich as before and then make them even more rich after that, just as Obama did.

        So she was put in line to be the next Obama for the next Financial Crisis. They did not do it for the Wokeness ( which was just a cover) and they did not expect her to perform so badly.

        Just my feeling . . .

    2. JBird4049

      >>>The brain trust that put Biden in office really didn’t know what they were getting with harris. Either she really did some amazing interviews or it was for appearances and they figured she is smart and would improve.

      I think that most people would improve with being VP giving one a very good look at how to be President. Intelligence and asking questions is all that is really needed. Okay, some serious studying and persistence also. I guess VP Harris is missing one or more of those qualities.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        “Intelligence and asking questions”

        Where is Harris going to observe this behavior in the White House? Bill might be a monster, but he is the only living president who did this as president. Carter and Obama both strike me as too in love with themselves to learn as president.

      2. ChrisRUEcon

        As reported early in the 2020 election cycle on these pages, Kamala was the person in whom the early money (Hamptons/Clinton) wanted to invest. This process would have been near totally ID-Pol based, and sought to play on Dem base sentimentality and pining for Obama.

        Look! We found another one! Brown, check! Woman, check!

        That’s the kind of stupid “thinking” that goes on in these circles, where the party is simply “owed votes” and actual policy is anathema.

        Early in the primaries, Harris failed to ignite … miserably. It became clear that the party had miscalculated on her popularity, charisma and ability to win people over. All she had was a supremely annoying online troll army – #Khive. It showed. She quit before the primary made the turn into the actual election year. The Dems were left with a problem – they had diluted the field, and the centrists were all picking votes off each other which enabled Bernie took the early lead.

        Then the motherlode: Nevada.

        Nevada was a seismic event because it showed that all the consent manufacturing being done by #MSM had failed. And true to form, the talking heads lost their freaking minds, most notably Chris Matthews with his ridiculous “Central Park firing squads” conjecture. In any case, the party decided it had had enough and chose to rally around Biden because of the aforementioned “Obama sentimentality”. So Joe rode Too-Tall-Jones’ coat tails (and a pandemic-reduced voter turnout) to primary victory.

        The End.

        > I think that most people would improve with being VP giving one a very good look at how to be President.

        Joe never wanted Kamala. He was strong-armed by Clyburn. Even if there was some kismet between them, Joe has little political acumen that would serve as a good example to any Vice President under him.

        > Intelligence and asking questions is all that is really needed.

        Kamala has multiple degrees (Poli-Sci, Econ), attended Law School and was admitted to the bar. It’s not just a question of intelligence – it’s a question of desire and competence. You have to want to fix things, and have the capacity to work within the system to effect change. This is what Harris does not possess. Like so many other Dems, there is only superficial interest in the problems of the masses – see “we hear you” and “we’re fighting”. Dems have perfected the art of faking concern while largely displaying disinterest and impotence.

        The tide is turning, though. People bring receipts from the 111th Congress now … less and less are fooled by the “kinbaku”, and they are getting angrier. FINALLY!

        1. JBird4049

          I am not looking at a native desire to do good, but the need to survive. She will be in the history books and I would hope that she would want to have a better entry than Presidents Zachary Taylor or James Buchanan (not that I expect her to know who they were!) I endured seeing her “work” for years, but I never thought that even she could be so vacuous. It is like watching someone just wandering over the volcano’s lip just oblivious.

    3. Gavin

      Harris is a blank slate for elite/donors to project into.. she has no policies of her own and believes only in Whatever Paid The Most Recently.. not unlike other corrupt [useless] people of either party.
      She’s a hot mess at interviews and speeches and policy making.. If her purpose is more than being someone to point to and say See, We Have Out-Group People In Leadership, I can’t perceive it.
      As if that wasn’t bad enough, she’s also apparently got a wildly inflated sense of self-worth and is terrible to work for/with. Dunning-Kruger times the infinity..

        1. IMOR

          This is the correct take. e.g. Spousal choice doesn’t dq the spouse, but it does speak to character.

    4. Jen

      “My guess, Biden doesn’t run or does quit ahead of time to give harris an advantage.”

      My guess is: not as long as Jill Biden has any say about it.

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      This duo was never meant to govern–it was meant to get elected. Given obama’s barely concealed, heavy handed involvement in the construction of this show ticket–“experienced” not-Trump and diversity hire–I suspect the “support staff” intended to do the “governing,” with obama calling the shots from the shadows, and corporate media smoothing over the rough edges.

      Unfortunately, this nation desperately needs some serious governance right now, and the bargain with the devil that was made is nowhere near up to the job.

      PS. Larry C. Johnson ignores one possibility–biden could be impeached by a reconstituted congress. While legacy media seems uninterested, the fact is that, last month, biden’s administration sold 5 million barrels of oil, released from the Strategic Reserve to supposedly lower gas prices in america, to foreigners, with nearly one million going to a Chinese government oil company with which hunter biden has been involved.

      “Impeachments” have happened for far less demonstrable “transgressions.”

    6. Tom Stone

      Harris went from polling less than 2% in her home State to the VP slot in Months.
      That’s slicker than snot in June.
      She plays the inside game very well indeed, or did.
      However when that reporter asked a question about what was clearly Roe Vs Wade being overturned and Harris’ responded by talking about the child tax credit it got my attention and I started really looking at her,particularly her eyes.
      Harris has had Covid, she does not look well and she’s missing things she would not have missed in the past.
      One wonders…

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Peter Principle. The job is too big for them. Being Senator is a great job. Bernie Sanders, who we were informed ad naseam isnt a Democrat is budget chair and has been the chair of the veterans affairs committee. Both jobs where they have a bunch of high profile and scrutinized work. On one hand, it gets your name in the news. So why aren’t Team Blue Senators demanding actual Democrats? They have great jobs already. They don’t have to do anything.

        It’s the same for Biden. Obama may have been capable as dull as he is, but he lacked the moral urgency he would have needed to be more than boring Bill Clinton. Biden and Harris went into the job knowing nothing about anything.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Being Senator is a great job.

          I’ll say. Even dianne feinstein is “doing” it, and no one has seen or heard from her for months.

      2. Pat

        I saw her get thrown by a softball question when she was on her book tour before the primaries and long before Covid. My guess is that the real problem is that she has driven out the best of her staff, and what is left don’t even bother trying to get her prepped for her appearances or interviews about anything that she might not want to deal with.

        1. Wukchumni

          I watched her questioning Kavanaugh during the hearings and in theory she’s a lawyer, and such ineptitude on her part-she essentially asked him the same question over and over again for 5 minutes.

          1. IM Doc

            And I will never the forget the condescending tone toward Kavanaugh that she employed in the hearing. Like a mom talking to a 5 year old.

            It was something like – “I want you to think really hard, be careful what you say. etc.” While the rest of us were really trying to get our heads wrapped around the issues involved, she was content doing a really bad Judge Judy impression.

            I knew at that moment that she was a total joke.

          2. marym

            At the time some commentary from her fans was favorable, as if it was some clever maneuver for not letting him evade the question. There surely are ways a competent interviewer can get someone to answer or at least undermine their credibility with their evasiveness, but she just looked ridiculous and didn’t accomplish anything.

      3. Late Introvert

        Kamala is not impressing the women in my family, but they all still seem to think Biden is a relief from Trump.

    7. CheckyChubber

      “The more you blow, the higher you go!”

      In her case, figuratively and literally!

    8. John k

      She ran for pres with huge bucks, I think best funded candidate but ended up without winning a single delegate. But she wowed them in the Hampton, so that plus banks carried the day.

  10. Ali A.

    Klaus Ernst, however, did not speak on behalf of his party, the majority of which supports the sanctions.

  11. John Beech

    I hope Johnson’s not done, I love the angst some of our UK friends display nearly as much as that displayed by the PMC here in America regarding President Trump.

    My small prayer? May God grant me a small measure of continued amusement.

    . . . and before I forget, another prayer, this time for our fellow on this journey, Amfortas the hippie, and the added load of dealing with the paperwork – poor guy.

    1. Lexx

      Tut tut, John, better angels, ‘the common good’, and all that.

      We didn’t drop a line to the owner of the bowling alley in Jefferson City, Missouri to give him/her a ‘heads up’ about the PIA moving to his town; the tsunami of criticism and complaints about that establishment soon to descend upon them… not to mention the threat of ‘legal action’. No, we ‘delayed gratification’ like mature adults out of empathy for the fair bowlers of that proud city and stayed mum.

      Think of the poor British people laboring under Tory rule. Voting doesn’t mean we get what we “deserve”.

  12. Glossolalia

    the BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5 subvariants substantially escape neutralizing antibodies induced by both vaccination and infection.

    Does anyone know how this compares to other coronaviruses (common colds, annual flu, etc.)? If you can get multiple “colds” in a year is that effectively the virus mutating quickly to evade antibodies from previous colds?

    Just trying to figure out how inline this is with other viruses vs. “oh shit”.

    1. ajc

      The virus is evolving to majorly or fully to evade the human immune system, especially an immune system primed by the vaccines (and the new B2.75 might be fully immune evasive).

      Given that the virus can infect and damage/destroy almost any organ or tissue including the CNS and immune system, and that it can re-infect within matter of weeks, it’s not like any other ‘cold’ virus. For me, it’s like a stepwise HIV, which is why I do everything I can to avoid even a singular infection.

    2. t

      If you want to scale for other virus vs. Oh Shit, look at prevention and treatment available, frequency of infection, severity of illness, and outcomes (like 3 pediatric deaths every day) and long term effects (including disability and death). Clearly on the Oh Shit side.

    3. IM Doc

      I happened to be on a Zoom conference just this morning. A very philosophical discussion by a virologist.

      I will try to condense his point the best way I can.

      He remarked how he found it fascinating that all of our media and medical experts were constantly telling the people that viruses mutate to become more infectious and less virulent during a pandemic. There is the presumption that this occurs in a linear stepwise fashion. This is simply not true. The virus does what it is going to do to survive. It is truly the survival of the fittest.

      What is FAR more important, is the immunologic responses and changes happening in the hosts. This is not an individual issue – this is a total group issue. This is the critical thing that propels the pandemic forward to its eventual equilibrium and resolution with the hosts.

      “Herd immunity” as the term is understood today by our population is a very good framework for things like measles and smallpox where either infection or vaccination will cause a subject to be a dead end. That is how our immune system handles many viruses. Unfortunately not coronaviruses. Never has. Never will.

      That is not the case with coronaviruses in any way shape or form. And he repeatedly reiterated that it was the collective host immune response that is critically more important than what the viruses are doing. An old friend coronavirus like OC43 is doing variant changes all the time. It is just our collective immune system has the ability to deal with it. We have over time developed the ability to handle it very well and have minimal symptoms. The thought is that someday we will have the ability to deal with COVID in the same way collectively. However, it is at this time unclear when that may happen. There are many who are wondering IF it will ever happen.

      And I will say again – I have heard multiple times by very accomplished virologists concerns with the way these particular vaccines work that they may be impairing our collective ability to do what needs to be done to achieve equilibrium. This is a “herd” problem. Infinite variety and infinite ability to change immune systems needs to occur in the hosts for this protection to get going correctly. It just may be the case that vaccination like we have done it has inhibited this infinite variety from occurring. One virologist I know is profoundly disappointed that our leaders/media did not seem to understand that coronaviruses are a much different animal as far as vaccination status and protection than things like measles and mumps.

      This is all discussion and conjecture. There will be no preprints or papers this early. This is how medicine works acutely – lots of talking and discussion. Throwing ideas out there.

      I will also say again that very early in my medical training, I had the privilege to have an attending physician who was among the leaders of the 20th Century in Infectious Disease. After a particularly grueling day of death on the AIDS ward back then, he took me and my colleagues aside and basically stated – “Young people, you will live to see the day we have a true universal airborne pandemic……You will see with your own eyes what that can do to a society. I just hope for humanity’s sake, it is not a coronavirus – if it is, they will never know what hit them.” He did not live to see SARS MERS or COVID – but I have thought about him quite a lot over the past few years.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Yes, it is forgotten or covered up that the reason smallpox became less lethal (but still bad) before vaccines was the people most vulnerable to it died before they could reproduce, and so the population over time became less acutely susceptible.

      2. Ahimsa

        Hi IM Doc,

        When you say variety I think heterogenity vs homogenity.

        I like the theory that a heterogenous immune response in the population is actually a good thing and contributes to herd immunity in a pandemic. A virus normally can’t mutuate rapidly enough to adapt to every new person/group/community it encounters in order to keep replicating and transmitting. And so it spreads but ultimately recedes in typical wave-like fashion.

        The day it was decided to try and mass vaccinate entire populations (while the virus was actively pandemic!?), was the day we ruined our chances of herd immunity. Now, once the virus has mutates to evade the immune response of the vaccinated, it has free reign to spread like wildfire. There are no longer adequate firebreaks through heterogenous immune responses to slow it down and exhaust itself.

        To switch metaphors, it’s as if an entire community is recommended to change out their trusty, similar but subtly different locks in their homes for a new modern high-tech security system. Every house must have the system installed in order ensure the community’s safety against the new predatory cat-burglar operation in town. How marvellously practical/efficient/modern – think of the optimised safety and easy payment plan!… This is a burglar’s wet dream. If he cracks the code just once he can evade the new high-tech system and in one fell swoop has free reign to waltz into every single house in the community.

        NOBODY would sign up for such a hair-brained scheme! And yet…

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          No, there would never be herd immunity. It has nothing to do with the vaccines. It has everything to do with coronaviruses. Immunity to a coronavirus infection lasts only 6-8 months at best. You do not get lasting immunity. Hence the herd immunity claim is a con. Please do not promote it as attainable.

          1. Ahimsa

            Qatar Omicron-wave study shows slow decline of natural immunity, rapid decline of vaccine immunity
            June 15, 2022 New England Journal of Medicine

            A study released in JAMA Network Open by investigators at Providence, one of the largest health systems in the United States, and the University of Chicago, found that the level of protection granted by a prior symptomatic COVID-19 infection among unvaccinated individuals was on par with the level of protection provided by mRNA vaccines, with natural immunity providing a longer window of protection than mRNA vaccines. The study was conducted before the emergence of the highly transmissible omicron variant in the United States.

            CDC: COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations by COVID-19 Vaccination Status and Previous COVID-19 Diagnosis — California and New York, May–November 2021
            January 28, 2022

            During May–November 2021, case and hospitalization rates were highest among persons who were unvaccinated without a previous diagnosis. Before Delta became the predominant variant in June, case rates were higher among persons who survived a previous infection than persons who were vaccinated alone. By early October, persons who survived a previous infection had lower case rates than persons who were vaccinated alone.

            Protection and Waning of Natural and Hybrid Immunity to SARS-CoV-2
            June 9, 2022 N Engl J Med 2022; 386:2201-2212
            DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2118946

            “Among persons who had been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 (regardless of whether they had received any dose of vaccine or whether they had received one dose before or after infection), protection against reinfection decreased as the time increased since the last immunity-conferring event,” the study said.

  13. digi_owl

    If not for the Abe news, todays links collection would be a massive case of schadenfreude.

    1. Louis Fyne

      The western media label’s Abe’s tenure as full of “reform.”

      Arguably Abe’s tenure was full of austerity that created the very type of presumably disgruntled, atomized, hopeless citizen who shot him

      1. digi_owl

        Yeah, don’t get me wrong. My main worry is the kind of blowback this will produce, no matter how cathartic it may have been for some.

  14. Tom Stone

    Abe appears to have been shot by a man using a slam fire shotgun, about the cheapest and simplest craft built gun you can make.

      1. LifelongLib

        The ruling elites are a bunch of people nobody ever heard of. The people who’d get shot are the hapless front men. And there’s no policy so popular that everybody likes it. All it takes is one angry guy. Any policy would be impossible.

    1. Scylla

      Looked like it had electric ignition to me- there were wires on it, so possibly a muzzle loading black powder device fired by something like a model rocket igniter. The photos were not great, though. I saw some people posit that parts were 3d printed, but the handle looked to be made of wood and wrapped in electrical tape. Still a very simple weapon, either way you look at it.

  15. Wukchumni

    James Caan, Star of ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Misery,’ Dies at 82 Wall Street Journal.

    We watched the original Rollerball from 1975 last month and my gawd does it predict the future of corporations intermarried with ‘sports’ (i’m looking at you, UFC…) in one of James Caan’s better roles as an actor.

    Rest in peace…

    1. The Rev Kev

      Same here. I always associate him with his performance in ‘Rollerball’ rather than his later movies and have never forgotten him in that film. As you say

      Rest in peace…

    2. Mildred Montana

      I was extremely impressed with his performance in “Misery”. For much of it he seemed to be acting with his face, that is, his facial expressions, as he tried to figure out what kind of predicament he was in, how he could get out of it, and what kind of crazy woman he was dealing with.

      No histrionics, no pleading, no anger, with his words saying less than his face. To me, that is a sign of a good actor.

      If anyone plans on watching that movie, I would suggest concentrating on Caan’s face. It is a delight and a lesson in the actor’s craft.

    3. JohnA

      I only saw Rollerball once on its release in the 70s. In my mind I bracket it with Slapshot and Deathrace 2000 that came out about the same time and I only saw once at the cinema. How have these all aged? Read one obit that said Caan auditioned to play Michael in the Godfather but Pacini got the role. Cant imagine Caan as any character but Sonny, for which he was perfect.

    4. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Obviously my favorite Caan movie.

      Especially with the character being named….


      Love the score mixed with the blood and underdog story!

      Fn awesome movie!!!!

      Remake is a total sell out bad movie 🎬

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Ukrainians began selling NATO artillery to Russia at a discount”

    I saw a video not long ago of some Ukrainian troops selling a light tank to the Russians for money. And recently I saw a video taken at night time where some Ukrainian soldiers were swapping Javelins for boxes of food as they had none. That was kinda sad that. But there is something that is going to happen which will make the collective west gnash their teeth in frustration. In Moscow you have the Central Armed Forces Museum and every country has a museum like that. So when the present NATO-Russia war is over, I would imagine that that museum will have to throw out a wing to record this war. But you can bet that a big chunk of that wing will be dedicated to showing off all the western weapons captured by their army. Can you imagine? You would have US M777 howitzers, Polish tanks, Australian Bushmasters & M113 APCs, French Caesar howitzers, Stinger manpads, MILAN & Javelin ATGMs, Steyr rifles and god knows what else. Imagine the videos that will be coming out of local tourists wandering those halls and looking over all those captured western weapons. I think that the collective western elite will lose it when they see this-

    1. Tom Stone

      Ukraine has been corrupt for a long time and its Military is no exception.
      You get the usual of Soldiers on the roster who don’t exist but who do draw,weapons,uniforms, food and pay, officers stealing soldier’s pay and equipment sales.
      If you bought your commission or got it through pull you are going to be adding to your travel and retirement fund as quickly as you can.
      That’s how things work in a puppet State like Ukraine.
      We’ll see more of this because with no loyalty down there is no loyalty up.
      Zelensky will bail (If he can) at the most opportune moment for Zelensky and anyone with a lick of sense knows it.
      There is a good chance that the commander of a major city will simply sell out to Russia and open the gates, which would save a lot of lives and misery without changing the eventual out come.

      1. JTMcPhee

        There were soldiers in Azovstal who sought to lay down their weapons and surrender, and were shot dead by the True Believer Azovs. This gang, from what I read, is all over in Ukraine, so any mayor or military chief seeking to “open the gates” is likely to be murdered by some of these. Ukraine cities do not have “gates,” just what any city has, with arteries and suburbs and lots of places for a determined bunch to force house-by-block clearance. And video is emerging showing lots of weapons caches and “partisans” carrying forward the CIA’s/NATO’s Operation Gladio, The Russians will have their hands full, dealing of necessity with an ugly and substantial fraction of the Ukrainian population that have not already moved out to better accommodations in the “Combined West.”

        I wonder if the Russians will ever go the trouble of sorting out the remains of the large number of people penned up in Azovstal who apparently were killed, placed on steel racks, and incinerated after their teeth were removed. how many of those were Combined NATO West “advisers” whose presence would have been so very damaging to reveal? The dead Azovs were apparently placed in refrigerated rooms in the bunkers, not burned to cinders.

        Interesting that there appears to be a growing disaffection with Ukrainian expats/refugees. Something to do with the sense of entitlement that many display, and some aggressive behavior toward the natives in the countries to which they have relocated. Turns out that just because they are “white,” and nominally “Christian,” one reason why they have been welcomed more than, e.g., Syrians displaced by NATO/US wars, they are not the best of new neighbors.

        War is hell, they say. This “hybrid” of war and performance art (on the Ukraine side) is even hell-er. The Russians are no longer fooling around, and it ever more looks to me like, in the words of Sun Tzu, “heaven is on their side.”

        1. Scylla

          Regarding the Ukrainian refugees sense of entitlement- in a way, I don’t blame them. They basically destroyed their own country and upended their lives, and many of them likely lost loved ones- all because western/Euro nations insisted that they do so, egging them on, while promising to protect them. These western nations/leaders obviously lied through their teeth and now it is patently obvious to Ukrainians-I can see how some of them feel they are owed. We can certainly say that they should have known better, but human nature shows people are gullible and hear what they want. I can also see Ukrainian terrorists in Europe’s future. Blowback is a bitch.

        2. wilroncanada

          You’ve made a couple of important points. I’ve thought about the “left behinds” in terms of Operation Gladio. I’ve also thought about the so-called “refugees” in terms of Operation Paperclip. I”m sure there are many legitimate refugees who are fleeing destruction, as in all wars. At least a couple of those refugees written up in local papers had not been in Ukraine for several years. One I recall specifically, picture included, was a handsome man in his late 20s/early 30s, who was being given a job locally as a technician (type unstated), a job he held in Poland. I imagine recent graduates of local technical schools were royally pissed off.

          My own disaffection begins with the Afghans who worked for Canadian occupation troops, but were regarded, when it came to rescue, as being less than a pinch of coon sh*t. I’m also quite aware of the last 70 years of radicalization of Ukraine immigrants, leading to the takeover of many Ukraine cultural organizations by radical anti-Russia rightist post WWII Ukrainians. Why, one only has to look at our deputy PM, for example.

          I fear that the already-successful hate mongering is going to be exacerbated by many more well-trained propagandists.

    2. JohnA

      The lions around Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square, are made from melted down captured French Napoleonic cannons. Maybe something similar could be done in Moscow, or perhaps more fittingly in Odessa, when it becomes Russian again, to commemorate this successful special military operation.

  17. upstater

    SCOTUS will hear an appeal of the convictions of Cuomo’s associates involved in “The Buffalo Billion” and crooked deals in the Syracuse area. Given they previously narrowed criteria for corruption charges, don’t be surprised if they further legitimize bribery and sweetheart deals.

    What a New Supreme Court Review May Mean for Albany’s Culture of Graft
    Joseph Percoco and Alain Kaloyeros, former aides to Andrew Cuomo, could benefit if the court is more skeptical of what constitutes a bribe.

    In the other case taken for review, Mr. Kaloyeros and three executives — Louis Ciminelli of LPCiminelli, a Buffalo construction management firm, and Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi of COR Development, a Syracuse-area firm — were all convicted in a conspiracy to steer lucrative state contracts in the Buffalo Billion project to the executives’ firms.
    Prosecutors said the defendants tailored requests for proposals to include qualifications that would ensure the contracts would go to the firms.

    Syracuse has a fully built bespoke $125M LED factory that sits empty and a movie studio with occasional use (watch out Hollywood! ). Buffalo has the $950M Tesla factory that makes photovoltaic roof shingles that are horrendously expensive to buy, but now also does components for EVs.

    Nothing surprises me of how brazen corruption has become and its apparent legalization. Crime pays.

  18. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves.

    Further to the Hastings article linked by JLS, readers should note that Hastings gave the job to Johnson after Johnson had been fired from the Times for making up stories, the final straw being a quote. Why did Hastings do that? The (wider) Johnson family is well connected and could advance Hastings’ career. Hastings covets titles and posts reserved for the great and the good.

    In a similar way, the hypocrites Ian Hislop, Paul Merton and Jimmy Mulville invited Johnson regularly on the BBC’s Have I Got News For You, even after Johnson made derogatory comments about certain communities. Johnson was too valuable for their weekly show and wider media interests. Had Johnson not got air time from them, he would have been just another Tory politician.

    1. JohnA

      Thanks Colonel. Hastings made his name as a very flag waving war correspondent in the Thatcher Falklands campaign. I am always amused when I hear people say Private Eye is anti-establishment. Long-time editor Hislop is a private education to oxford BBC loyalist and establishment figure to the core. Anyone Private Eye targets has clearly been cleared for such treatment by the powers that be first.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you and well said, John.

        Please add the Grauniad’s Marina Hyde and John Crace to what your final sentence accurately describes.

  19. The Rev Kev

    ‘German Economy Minister Robert Habeck “with a heavy heart” asked Canada to release Siemens gas pumping units stuck there after repairs due to sanctions, writes Bloomberg. He clarified that he was asking Canada to send the units not to Russia, but to Germany.’

    Robert Habeck will really have a blow-out if the Nord Steam 2 pipeline has to be actually commissioned. But there is still opposition to those pumping units being released. For one, there are the Canadian-Ukrainians that are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to refuse to compromise the country’s sanctions against Russia by returning that gear-

    In addition, the Ukrainians are not happy about this and have said ‘If, God forbid, this decision is approved, we will undoubtedly appeal to our European colleagues that their approach must be reassessed,” a source in Ukraine’s Energy Ministry was quoted as saying by Reuters. “Because, if countries do not follow decisions they have agreed about sanctions, how can we talk about solidarity?’

    Meanwhile the Germans are waking up to the threat that they are facing. In fact, Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger has called for schools to be classed as ‘critical infrastructure’ by winter or else they will simply have to be closed. And that is only just the start of the consequences if the Germans can’t get their gas deliveries restored.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Two days ago a Russian court sentenced Caspian Pipeline Consortium to suspend operations for a month due to unsatisfying environmental safety planning. The company has indeed had some nasty accidents recently, at the moment the company blames the sanctions preventing them from maintaining the pumps and pipelines properly.

      Coincidentally a total suspension would remove 1.4 million barrels/day of Kazakhstan oil from the market right now. The company has not suspended the flow yet, and attempts to challenge the courts decision.

      One couldn’t be blamed for thinking that an economic pressure is intentionally being increased one minor step after the other.

    2. RobertC

      Coal shortages possible as Low River Levels May Deepen Europe’s Energy Crunch

      …“Low water levels on the Rhine mean that barges cannot load steam [thermal] coal at full capacity” for power plants in Germany, said Guillaume Perret, founder of energy consultancy Perret Associates. “This could be a double whammy for the German utilities, as they were already facing a shortage of barges.

      For now, most utilities have ample stockpiles, though that could change if the situation runs into late next month, he added.

      …Germany is now considering reviving dormant coal plants as power prices jump to record levels. But it’s happening at a time when barges are already in tight supply, in part because many were sold off in recent years amid a planned coal phase-out.

      The re-direction of some barges to help ship grain out of Ukraine has also limited their availability in western Europe, according to Sabrina Kernbichler, lead analyst for European power at S&P Global Platts.

  20. Wukchumni

    Christians strip down at a South Texas nudist community Associated Press (resilc)

    One thing that has always perplexed me in regard to the Rapture® is the evangs get whisked away with a clump of clothing, shoes, purses and whatnot lying on the ground while they have a meet & greet session with the big cheese upstairs nekkid as jaybirds, how awkward!

    I suggest these Texas evangs are merely in training…

    1. Lexx

      You may recall that Dobby was a slave house elf until ‘Master’ got tricked into giving him an article of clothing. Christians, I’ve observed’, don’t seem to want to be responsible for themselves. They prefer an Overlord and if you offer them a pair of socks on the next life, they’d say ‘no thanks’.

      1. hunkerdown

        They would much rather be responsible for other people. Gift economies are manipulative too.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      My general view is there isn’t a frontier for the would be cultists to go, and so they’ve gathered around charismatic Christianity which is so up to the whims of the individual minister. Charismatic ministers put on shows, so they need to embrace this stuff at some level. We talk about the occasional heaven’s gate, but the US use to be up to its eyebrows in cults. Where did all those people go, especially as we’ve dismantled community bonds with cars? Opus Dei and that other group attract the more discipline minded types.

      Did the trademark rapture exist before those LeHay(sp?) books?

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine’s military plans to limit free movement to make conscription easier”

    Weird stuff is going in with conscription in the Ukraine. They have actually been conscripting guys in bars but this is not really new. I was reading an article in 2015-16 where recruiters would board a bus and get all the guys on it. But now there is even less attraction to being sent to the Eastern Front. So you have videos of guys running away from recruiters and even swimming away from them. Now it looks like they are going to be recruiting girls to send to the front. Is this so that when the survivors are captured, that the Ukrainians can claim that they were assaulted by the Russians for propaganda purposes? A coupla days ago those conscription might have pushed it as they were issuing conscription notices outside a church in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv and the locals were not happy-

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      MSNBC’s Malcolm Nance is returning to the states to “defend America” as he has now successfully defended Ukraine. So my guess is the collapse is imminent.

      1. super extra

        no more manipulative Malcolm Nance interviews where he demands orphaned children and widows to cry for the camera because of the evil Russians! probably someone should go back and save some of the most egregious examples from the opening weeks of the war before they’re scrubbed by the narrative control.

    2. JTMcPhee

      You think the Ukies are dipping deep into the gene pool? Here’s what’s happening, tongue only slightly in cheek, in the US military:

      I enlisted in the US Army in 1966. There was conscription then, big time, in the US then. Rich folks could get exempted, via college deferment or fake doctor’s note or for some, going expatriate. But in my Basic Training unit we had a guy from St. Louis who was a total pudding momma’s boy who never learned his right from his left despite being forced to carry a brick in his left hand, was totally physically deconditioned, and because he could not meet the Basic fitness standard, they “recycled” him through the “Incentive Unit” where the physical and mental abuse was an order of magnitude worse. He should have been discharged as 4-F, never should have been drafted. Another guy had a cataract in his right eye, so they taught him to shoot left handed and put him in the infantry, off to Vietnam. Another fella had served five years of a 6 year enlistment in the Navy, but fell off some scaffolding while chipping and painting a ship and shattered both his feet so badly that he actually had inverted arches. He could not walk a hundred yards without collapsing, in Army boots, so they gave him some athletic shoes with arch supports and once again, sent him off to Infantry Advanced (sic) Individual Training. He was drafted because he hadn’t finished his enlistment.

      My recurring nightmare is that I, in my late 70s, get a draft notice and the Army bus comes around and I am forced on board, helplessly waving my DD-214 discharge papers and my letter from the Army saying that after age 35 I was no longer eligible for military service. So I was in trouble from the git go, because I did not have the uniform and gear items I was discharged with, but I am quickly on my way to the front, in a world where the sky is dark gray clouds, feeling much like the current cannon-fodder conscripts in Ukraine, no training, feckless weapons, idiotic command structure or none at all…

      So I guess the Ukrainians indoctrinated into the Nazi national geist, who might have been decent commensalists but for that, will pay the price for the corruption of their rulers, just like the rest of the “Combined West.”

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        Things are not much different with respect to law enforcement training. Police academies typically are no more than a couple of months, with much of that time focused on the use of firearms. Training in actual policing is negligible. Upon graduation the rookie cops are issued badges and guns and sent out onto the streets. With predictable results.

        1. Polar Socialist

          In the Nordic countries law enforcement officer is a bachelor-level degree, and takes about three years. And yes, they do write a thesis and do a maturity test.

          The emphasis seems to be on preserving the dignity and respecting the rights of all individuals. The officers are expected to perform their duties with integrity and fairness and promote understanding and conciliation.

          It doesn’t always work like that, but the expectation is that police actually is your friend and will calm down situations just by their presence. In general, one is happy to see the police and they have public’s respect because they respect the public.

          And use of lethal force will always go to court. Legally police is not allowed to kill people (individual’s right to life has precedence over police’s duty to protect), but as always, there are mitigating circumstances and those will be evaluated by the judicial system.

      2. albrt

        I kept my Army uniforms until recently. For a while I thought I might get called up, but ever since Obama demonstrated that both parties are 100% war criminal, I would go to jail before I would serve again.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Can AI Really Predict Crime a Week in Advance? That’s the Claim.”

    In short, I am going to say no. Chaos theory means that predictions rapidly diverge from reality depending on a enormous set of factors. That is why you cannot predict exactly what the weather will be like at 3pm next Friday.

    1. digi_owl

      The thing to keep in mind about all this AI talk is that said “AI” is basically a massive abuse of statistics. Automated curve fitting more or less.

      So this system will be about as good at “predicting” crime, as the grizzled, aviators wearing, officer looking over a map of previous arrests.

  23. Mikel

    “University of Michigan regent’s 8-hour Delta flight goes without water” Detroit News

    I hope they brought masks to wear.
    Would be one way of getting people to wear them on planes.

    1. Wukchumni

      I’m now up to 4 domestic flights since 9/11 and don’t miss the romance of air travel 1 iota.

      1. Mikel

        The phantom flight phenomenon atarted after 9/11. It’s like airlines never recovered.
        Covid made it worse.
        And while illness and other work shortages are what they are claiming now as big reasons…they really don’t like sending up planes light on passengers. And that would be exactly the kind of flight I would be looking for during a pandemic
        They want to stuff the flights with ummasked passengers during an ongoing pandemic with all the 20 year old “terrorist” precautions still at play.

      2. wilroncanada

        I’m now up to four trans-Canada train journeys since 9/11 and I don’t miss the romance of rail travel one Toyota.

  24. Mikel

    “Data cover-up deepens as at least 3 children die of COVID every day in the US” WSWS

    Some good points and info worth follow up is given and then I see this:
    “The subvariants are known to be highly resistant to immunity from vaccines and prior infections.”

    Then everything in the article goes on to describe non-sterlization shots as exactly what they are: a threrapeutic to provide some treatment for Covid.

    But it’s like the LIE mantra associating the shots with immunity has to be thrown into everything.
    It has been the case since the beginning of the outbreak that immunity attained from prior infection was ONLY TEMPORARY and varied among indviduals and NEVER guaranteed that people had any protection from any different variant.
    This is and the profits over people healthcare system are the main reasons the pandemic response is a shambles.

  25. Wukchumni

    A wildfire is threatening a famed giant sequoia tree grove in California’s Yosemite National Park, officials said Thursday.

    The Washburn Fire is estimated at 60 to 70 acres and burning near the lower portion of Mariposa Grove, Yosemite park officials said. Firefighters are working from the ground and air to suppress the blaze, and park officials have said the grove is closed until further notice.

    Mariposa Grove is home to more than 500 giant sequoia trees, which can grow to over 250 feet tall. And while the grove was founded in 1857, they existed long before that, with some believed to be more than 2,000 years old.

    Yosemite National Park logging project halted after environmental lawsuit. What now?

    A controversial logging project that could permit thousands of trees as large as 20 inches in diameter to be felled throughout nearly 2,000 acres in Yosemite National Park has, at least temporarily, been stalled.

    The halt comes after a lawsuit filed last month by the John Muir Project — a conservation group that’s part of Berkeley-based nonprofit Earth Island Institute — against Yosemite National Park for allegedly conducting a commercial logging project without proper environmental analysis or sharing crucial documents with the public.

    Represented by Earthrise Law Center, the suit filed in the Fresno division of the U.S. District court names Yosemite Superintendent Cicely Muldoon in her official capacity, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Department of the Interior as defendants.

    You get the feeling ‘environmentalist groups’ are stuck in the 1970’s and climate change doesn’t exist…

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      With all due respect there is lots of science that shows that “thinning” forests does not prevent wildfires, nor do they lessen the intensity of wildfires. The Yosemite operation is clearly intended to be a moneymaker for private interests as well as the Park Service.

      1. Wukchumni

        The fires that thinning is designed to halt are the very few large severe wildfires that are driven by drought, high temperatures, low humidity and, most importantly, wind. The fires that make the news stories across the country and are responsible for burning the vast majority of all acres in the West are exactly the fires thinning—even when done properly—cannot halt. The reason? Wind!

        There have been numerous prescribed burns in the Atwell Grove of Sequoias over the years and the KNP Fire pretty much ran into them and was stopped.

        The idea that it wasn’t windy helped out, but every fire comes with a particular set of circumstances, and a 1-size-fits-all statement that thinning out a forest and doing prescribed burns is of no use is a bit suspect.

        Ever do burn piles?

        I like to watch and flames always race up towards the highest point of the pile, and it isn’t any different with dead trees, which i’d rather have prone on the ground than fire catchers on high.

        The Diamond tree (19th largest tree in the world) has a diamond shaped fire scar about 125 feet up the tree, and the KNP Fire found this point of vulnerability and entered there and carved a fire tunnel about 100 feet up from that point within the bowels of the baum.

        It probably wouldn’t have done so otherwise…

  26. Mikel


    (caps not mine)

    This law enforcement nightmare is still being developed?
    These people are too stupid for words to actually believe they have developed something – using binary thinking – that took millions of years to evolve and/or con artists.

    1. anon y'mouse

      Hey, they could put con artists and crims on the payroll to figure out how crimes are likely to happen.

      But how do you tell the difference anymore?

      It’s hard finding good help these days.

  27. juno mas

    RE: The Saker link

    I’ve tried to open “the saker” website the last few days. It seems to be down. Anyone else getting a “site not available” notice?

    1. THarry

      Yes, I am as well. The Saker is one of my go-to sites and I haven’t been able to reach it for several days.

    2. Stephen T Johnson

      I can’t get it to load. I’ve seen trying http instead of https, but that doesn’t help me any.

    3. heresy101

      Saker blog under attack – URGENT request for help
      July 08, 2022
      Dear friends

      The Saker blog has been under attack for many months, but we kept it quiet. Our webmaster and sysadmin Herb has successfully beat back all the attacks, but now the enemy has upped both the scale and nature of the attack and we are barely hanging on.

      I have two urgent requests:

      1) If you are an IT security specialist (or can contact one you know) and you think that you (or he/she), or your company, can help, please contact at the following email as soon as possible:

      Please do NOT email me personally as I am on sick leave and this is way above my IT skills.

      2) please circulate this appeal of mine on social media, maybe that will help us get to the right people who can help us.

      Finally, we will keep you updated on the old blog’s site here:

      Thank you in advance for any help!

      Kind regards


      PS: if they attack us, it must mean that we are threatening them. So I consider this as a compliment of sorts for the superb work the Saker Team has been doing, especially since my leave of absence for health reasons.

    4. Acacia

      It’s working well for me via HTTP, not HTTPS.

      Some commenters on the site are reporting that they need to use VPN, so this may be more than just a DDoS attack.

  28. Polar Socialist

    About the sanctions and ‘faceless’ Euro-bureacracy – we now have a name for the man who in history books will be known as the man who destroyed Europe: Björn Seibert.

    A link to Spiegel article I came across trough Natylie Baldwin’s site claims that the sanction packages were indeed planned and discussed beforehand. Well, they also claim that the sanctions are working – it just may take years…

    1. RobertC

      Biden Administration Pressures the EU To Launch Economic Sanctions Against Russia

      …Siebert is the chief of the cabinet of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen; he is the European Union point man planning sanctions on Russia from November 2021.

      …Seibert and his office, according to the magazine, sought advice from US officials such as Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Deputy National Security Advisor Daleep Singh.

      Having sanctioned Iran, Russia, and Chinese telecom Huawei they advised the EU official that these EU actions for Ukraine are a prepping for going after Beijing, remarked Spiegel.

      1. Lex

        Ah yes, Daleep Singh had some New Yorker type profiles written up in the first weeks of the Ukraine conflict. He was the whiz kid who had designed the “sanctions from hell” that would bring Russia to its knees and the population into the street to hang Putin from a lamppost. It would be an economic blitzkrieg. All the models said that Russia would collapse in just a few weeks, maybe a month or two at worse.

        And then Singh decided that he needed to focus on what’s really important in life, his family rather than starving Russians.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Thanks for that website which I have duly bookmarked. That Björn Seibert is insane. So much for all that Harvard training. Europe does not have years to wait for any sanctions to work – if they ever do – and is already starting to fracture. And winter isn’t even close yet. That article confirms that the sanctions unleashed on Russia were months if not years in the preparation and I guess that they were not worried about blowback as the assumption was that the Russian economy would quickly implode. So it was a massive all-on-black gamble. Well it didn’t work so now we have an economic war of attrition as well as a military one. The west hoped for regime change and now they are going to get it. Just not where they expected to be.

  29. RobertC

    New Not-So-Cold War

    China is executing its plan Wang’s G20 [Ministerial] Meetings Highlight China’s Ukraine Messaging China remains committed to reshaping the global order with Russia, and Beijing knows developing countries are the key to that effort.

    …To that end [that Beijing is proud of its commitment to uphold ties with Moscow], [Foreign Minister Wang Yi] said that “opposing hegemony and bullying and resisting unilateralism are the common aspirations of the vast majority of development countries.” He framed the world as facing a choice: “To truly maintain the international order with the United Nations as the core, or to uphold the rules drawn up by a few countries based on their own standards?

    [next paragraph is out of order]

    …[Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov] made a similar comment, saying that “Russia-China relations are not subject to external interference.” He also mentioned that Russia will support China’s Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative, another sign that Moscow and Beijing are still committed to working together to overturn the status quo in the international order (a process that both governments call “democratizing” international relations).

    …Interestingly, the more important statement of China’s position on Ukraine came not in the Lavrov-Wang talks, but in Wang’s meeting with India’s external affairs minister [Subrahmanyam Jaishankar]. During that meeting, Wang expounded on China’s “three concerns over the situation in Ukraine,” which China’s Foreign Ministry released as a separate readout.

    Both the message and the setting are crucial here. By issuing this statement in a meeting with India’s external affairs minister, it’s clear China hopes to find common ground on this point with India and other developing countries that have been hard hit by the economic turmoil resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as the economic sanctions applied on Russia.

    Governments in the U.S. and Europe that wish to counter this messaging must first be aware of how much potential there is for it to resonate. For countries struggling to secure enough grain or oil to meet their population’s needs, grand statements about international norms and principles are unlikely to be as persuasive as leaders in the West might think. One has only to look at a map of the countries that abstained from U.N. resolutions condemning Russia for the invasion to see this pattern in action.

    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was hard at work countering China and Russia’s messaging that Western sanctions are to blame for the world’s economic troubles. Instead, Blinken has been hammering home the point that “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is worsening food insecurity.”

    Reminder: Indonesia-hosted G20 Motto is Recover Together, Recover Stronger

    1. nippersdad

      For a fleeting moment this morning there was a headline in either Politico or The Hill (I cannot remember which and could not find it when I went back to look) that stated Lavrov was upset about being ignored at the conference. So I guess this….

      Blinken has been hammering home the point that “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is worsening food insecurity.

      …hasn’t been working out so well for him.

      1. RobertC

        Here ya go at TheHill Lavrov accuses West of ‘blatant Russophobia’ as he is shunned at G-20 meeting

        And the Politico guy was feeling his Wheaties Dangerous liaison: U.S. and allies target China-Russia ties

        …In the bigger strategic picture, however, it is NATO’s depiction of Beijing and Moscow’s ever closer partnership that raises the largest concerns. NATO is not yet referring to a China-Russia “bloc” in its Strategic Concept, but it is clearly alerting the world’s democracies to the scale of the challenge they now face.

        Enter the word “capacity.” Do the U.S. and its allies — especially in Europe — really have the resources and the willpower to hold the line if they are taking on Russia and China at once? The West is now locked in a confrontation over Ukraine that, absent regime change in Moscow, is likely to continue for year after dreary year without a clean and decisive conclusion.

        The best and last laugh came from Gilbert Doctorow watching Russian TV

        [Commander of the “Akhmat” battalion of special forces Chechen soldiers fighting in the Lugansk region, Apti] Alaudinov’s remarks on Monday about the way forward will surely be closely studied by Western intelligence operatives in Washington and Brussels for days to come before they percolate up into speeches of EU and US politicians. He said that following the liberation of all of Lugansk, Russian forces would continue their move South and West, or perhaps might on the way take Kiev. Then they could turn on the Baltic States, where, in his words, the armed forces of a country like Estonia were negligible. Until ordered to halt by the Commander-in-Chief, they might next take Poland.

        Would a direct fight with NATO be intimidating, the program co-host Olga Skabeyeva asked.

        With a broad smile on his face, Alaudinov said ‘no,’ the ‘LGBTQ’ led armies of NATO were no match for the forces of the Russian Federation. “Power to Russia,” he exclaimed in conclusion.

        Yes, Russian television can be very entertaining!

        1. nippersdad

          Price and Blinken are just an embarrassment. It would have been much better had they stayed home. Lavrov was being diplomatic; they are being weenies.

          “In a statement Friday, Price added that Blinken and the foreign ministers from Germany, the United Kingdom and France discussed Russia’s “unprovoked and unjustifiable war of choice.””

          I am trying to imagine Blinken having a conversation with the Brits, French and Germans about a war they actively sought and then got far too much of as being “unprovoked.” I’d bet my bottom dollar that it never happened that way. More like “Maybe we should have implemented Minsk…..Ooooh! Here comes Lavrov; Run!”

          And, of course, one has to love the Chechens. They are all attitude, and at this point who could blame them for having a little fun at our expense?

  30. Mikel

    “.. the BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5 subvariants substantially escape neutralizing antibodies induced by both vaccination and infection.. the omicron variant has continued to evolve with increasing neutralization escape..”

    And nothing about the situation points to variants being caused by the unvaccinated. Omnicron popped up after the mass mRNA experiment started. Seems more like the virus is adapting around that. Up until then, the variants did not have the weird fraken-spike proteins.

  31. Jon Cloke

    I hope you guys are keeping an eye on the #COVIDisAirborne hashtag on Twitter at the moment?

    12/7/22 12.08 UK time

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